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Unleashed In The Midwest: December 2016

Say goodbye to 2016 and all its faults! Goodbye, David Bowie, your music sounds just as good as it always had. Goodbye, Alan Rickman, may you fall forever from Nakatomi Plaza every Christmas. Goodbye, Leonard Cohen, time for everyone to pretend they know you from something other than Rufus Wainwright's cover of "Hallelujah" in the Shrek movie. But enough depressiveness -- bring on the snow and bring out the end of year concerts!

December 14th - Queensryche w/ Armored Saint, Midnight Eternal @ Kanza Hall

Well, here's a weird one. Queensryche (I ain't gonna type out the umlaut) was a mainstay in those late 90's, three-disc power ballad compilation CD's you saw commercials for, but they're basically the thinking man's Iron Maiden -- at least until their constant lineup changes and legal troubles as of late. This is the "real" Queensryche with Todd La Torre on vocals -- not "Geoff Tate's Queensryche" (I honestly think that's the name) which isn't doing so hot nowadays. Opening is the awesome speed/heavy metal band Armored Saint that is such a force in the pantheon of heavy metal that Metallica toured with them, opening for W.A.S.P., back in the 80's. But Kanza Hall? The yuppie country bar in Overland Park? In a strip mall right next to a Mardel's and a Freebirds? Interesting to say the least.

December 23rd - David Hasselhoff On Acid w/ Steddy P, 34 + more @ The Riot Room

They're back! DHOA was one of Kansas City's more talented and unique bands and easily stood out amongst the crowd when talking about the local scene. They're reuniting and topping a massive bill of metal, rock, hip-hop and more for the ultimate Christmas party in KC. Oh, it's also one of those ugly Christmas sweater deals. You know how it goes. Rage!

December 27th - Bummer w/ Stonehaven @ The Riot Room

Shake off the holiday blues with something heavy. Two great tastes that taste great together, Bummer has the sludgy, stoney rock to bang your head to, but only if you survive being skinned alive by Stonehaven, Kansas City's own Norwegian pagan black metal band. I feel like the crowd will be pretty diverse at the show, with equal numbers of large grey sweaters and animal pelts draped around shoulders, but both the bands kick ass so it's bound to be a good time. 

December 30th - Keef Mountain w/ Amenaza, Young Bull, Altered Beast, Inner Altar, Savage Land @ The Granada

It's not quite a New Year's Eve celebration, but you won't find a better one on the 31st anywhere. A smattering of all things heavy in and around Lawrence and Kansas City. Keef Mountain alone, possibly the loudest and heaviest local band in recent times, is well worth the measly $3 door price. Inner Altar and Savage Land provide more stoney, groovy jams while Amenaza and Altered Beast are on the bill to play music to beat someone down (festively, of course) to. And then, Young Bull takes the best of both worlds with a performance that's sure to leave you wanting more from your new favorite band. The best $3 you'll spend all year!

Jackson May is Kansas City (Kansas side, unfortunately) native that eats, lives, breathes and will eventually die by metal. After attending as many shows as possible for over a decade now, it's time for him to put pen to paper and blab about all things heavy music to anyone that will listen. Find him at any number of small heavy metal shows each month, or maybe at a few pop punk or hip-hop concerts.

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